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On the 23rd – 24th of November 2018, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, made a brief stop in Beijing on his way from Seoul to Pyongyang.

On the 24th of November Vladyka Hilarion celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Dormition Church in the territory of the Russian Embassy in Beijing. Concelebrating with the DECR chairman was Hieromonk Innokenty (Kolesnikov), rector of the church. Praying at the service were Archbishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk and members of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church that accompanied the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations on his visit.

After the Liturgy Metropolitan Hilarion delivered a homily, saying in particular:

“It gives me great pleasure to come to Beijing on this short visit on my way from South Korea to North Korea and to celebrate the Divine Liturgy here, on this place, sacred for us, where the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission used to be, and where 222 Chinese martyrs had suffered… We pray to the martyrs and confessors of this land so that the Lord may enlighten it with the light of Christ’s faith. We pray that the Orthodox faith may be preserved in this land.

“I would like to convey to you blessings from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia who in his capacity as chairman of the Department for External Church Relations did much to revive the church life in the Chinese land. His Holiness continues to take unceasing care of the life of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church so that it might develop to the greatest extent possible in an atheistic state. I thank all of you for loving the church of God, for coming here and praying to the Lord. The Lord will award you for your labours and care for the church of God both in this life and in the life to come by granting you the Heavenly Kingdom in the life eternal and by enabling you in this life to partake of His Heavenly Kingdom through the Holy Mysteries and by enlightening your whole life with His Heavenly light.”

That same day Metropolitan Hilarion departed for Pyongyang. Seeing off the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church at the Beijing airport were Mr. Andrei Denisov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the People’s Republic of China, and other representatives of the Russian Embassy.

The Russian Orthodox Church’s delegation included Archbishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk, administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate’ parishes in the countries of East and Southeast Asia; Mr. Dmitry Petrovsky, DECR staff member; and subdeacons V. Lee and N. Sokolov.

DECR Communication Service